Best Brisket Marinade

September 12, 2022
1 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Prep time 4 hours 5 minutes
  • makes about 1½ cups; enough for a 5-pound brisket
Author Notes

What is a brisket marinade? Essentially, it’s a mixture of oil, vinegar, and your favorite spices and herbs to cover your brisket before and during cooking to give it flavor.

The good news is that there is no single way to make a brisket marinade. The bad news is that there are an infinite number of ways to make one—and how you do it will likely vary drastically based on your palate, what you have available, and possibly even the occasion. Infinite possibilities can be intimidating. So, let’s narrow it down a smidge.

I can’t control your palate, but I can plan a brisket marinade for a specific occasion, like Rosh Hashanah, and hope it resonates. Brisket isn’t exclusive to the Jewish New Year, but it’s like the reliability of spotting Jack Nicholson sitting courtside at a Lakers game in the ‘90s. If you’re looking at a Rosh Hashanah dinner table, chances are you’re looking at a brisket—whether it’s the traditional beef variety or even a seitan-based vegetarian spin.

Apples, honey, and pomegranates are some of the most symbolic foods of the holiday. So in this brisket marinade recipe, we’ve got apple cider vinegar, honey, and pomegranate seeds blended together to unleash a tangy, flavorful punch to launch you into the New Year (or just further into fall if you’re of the Gentile persuasion).

If you’ve got some leftovers, boil and reduce it for about five minutes to make a “mop” that you can brush across the brisket at the end. You can also add a little liquid smoke if you’re looking for a little Texan-style flavor but can’t quite fit a smoker into your city apartment. —Joe Baur

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 1 fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate seeds
  • 2 teaspoons liquid smoke, optional
  1. Add all of the ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth, emulsified, and well incorporated, especially the pomegranate seeds.
  2. Pour the marinade over a 5-lb brisket. Let marinate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
  3. Boil any extra marinade for about 5 minutes to make a ”mop.” Brush it over the top of the brisket for extra flavor.

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